Farmers accuse Railways of taking their Land for Madurai–Nagercoil track doubling without their consent

TIRUNELVELI: Accusing the Southern Railway of taking their lands without prior intimation and the owners’ approval for the ongoing Madurai–Nagercoil railway track doubling project, a group of farmers submitted petition to Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish on Monday.

The farmers, in their petition, submitted that the Souther Railway that was acquiring lands along the existing railway track for the ‘track doubling project’ between Madurai and Nagercoil was acquiring private lands adjacent to the railway track without prior intimation and without owners’ nod. Since the Southern Railway had not obtained the permission of land owners, mostly farmers, for acquiring the land, no proper compensation was being given to the lands acquired so far.

Hence, the Collector should instruct the Southern Railway officials to intimate the farmers before acquiring their land and take the land for the ‘track doubling’ project only after getting the owners’ consent and giving the proper compensation, the farmers said.

Communist Party of India’s Palayamkottai taluk secretary Varagunan submitted a petition seeking the early commencement of work on the rail over bridge at Kulavanigarpuram manned level crossing. He said the manned level crossing, which was being closed 14 times a day as trains cross this busy point, was seriously affecting the children going to their schools and the critically ill patients being rushed to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital.

Hence, the district administration should take steps for the immediate commencement of rail over bridge at Kulavanigarpuram.

Mr. Varagunan also said the earnest efforts should be made by the Palayamkottai Union officials for providing sufficient supply of drinking water, roads and street-lights to the Kamaraj Colony in Chettikulam panchayat.

The petitioner villagers from Duraisamypuram said their hamlet in Sankarankovil taluk was not getting drinking water for the past six months though the village had drinking water supply pipeline under the Tamirabharnai Combined Drinking Water Scheme.

The situation worsened as the drinking water supplied from the deep borewell sunk near the village could not meet the minimum requirement of the residents. Consequently, drinking water distribution to the residents and providing drinking water to the cattle had become the most difficult task for the villagers, particularly the dairy farmers.

The repeated petitions submitted in the Sankarankovil Union Office did not improve the situation in Duraisamypuram. Hence, the Collector should instruct the officials concerned to ensure adequate supply of drinking water to the residents, the petitioners said.

The potters of Vaavaa Nagaram near Sankarankovil submitted a petition seeking waiver of loans they had availed to save them and also the industry from getting decimated.

The petitioner potters said the potters’ cooperative society of Vaavaa Nagaram had mortgaged the earthenware manufacturing unit and the kiln at Parvathipuram in 1985 for getting loans to improve the business. Since the loan thus availed was not repaid properly by the borrowers, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission acquired the earthenware manufacturing unit.

As the potters could not use the earthenware manufacturing unit and the kiln since these infrastructures had been attached, the Collector should take steps for waiving the loan and return these two mortgaged facilities back to the potters in a bid to resurrect pottery in this region, the appealed.

Thamizhar Viduthalai Kalam district secretary Muthukumar submitted a petition seeking basic facilities such as drinking water supply, community hall, sanitary complex and in the cremation ground in Renganathapura, Nathippuram, Ilanthaikulam, all in Tirunelveli Corporation limits and also in Chokkattaanthoppu in Maanur union, where people belonging to Scheduled Caste live in large numbers.